See Australia

Dear friends,

I’ve been trying to find some time to write this post for about 4 months now but I just haven’t been able to begin. Life’s changed so much recently and it’s been difficult trying to keep up.

For starters, for those of you who have been following me on the internet and don’t know me personally, I made the move from Melbourne to Sydney little over 4 months ago now to work as Tourism Australia’s Content Producer for 6 months.

To cut a long story short, I had been working on a campaign to win one of Tourism Australia’s Best Jobs In The World earlier this year, and to my utter surprise, I made it to the final 25 out of hundreds of thousands of entries. I then spent a solid 2 weeks working hard on a film to pitch to TA in the hopes of making it to the final 3.

The work paid off and the support I received was absolutely incredible, I still can’t put it into words how wonderful the experience was and how lucky I am to have so many friends, family and followers supporting me all over the globe… it was overwhelming and I am just so thankful.

Tourism Australia’s phone call offering me a position directly working for them as a Content Producer feels like an absolute dream now looking back. I’m still pinching myself..

So within the space of 3 weeks I packed up my life and moved to Sydney to begin 6 months worth of adventures which has been a ride, testing me, pushing me and helping me develop my skills even further than I would have imagined.

I’ve fallen even more in love with photography and how I can tell stories through still images as opposed to film. They’re two completely different worlds, and on a daily basis I have pushed myself to capture unique narratives through both in very different ways.

I’ve been a one man band and at times it is difficult to do so many things at once, on an average working day I’m wheeling 30 kgs of gear around, have 2 cameras hanging around my neck, a tripod and steadicam attached to at least one of them and a backpack with 12kgs of gear resting on me.

But when you’re out there in a place you never thought you’d get a chance to visit, or didn’t even know about, you don’t even think about it, you just do.

Aside from the incredible staff who have been so easy to work with and so welcoming when I arrived in Sydney, what I truly love about this job is not only the creative license, not only the ability to travel every week and see my wonderful country whilst doing what I love, it’s the fact that I get put in positions and situations that I never every thought I’d find myself in or have the courage to put myself in normally.

For example, in my first week working with TA, I found myself flying over the Great Barrier Reef and landing on a quaint Island called Lady Elliot. There my job was to follow and photograph some of the best jobs finalist who were going through a serious of challenges. This involved snorkeling!! Now snorkeling for the first time is one thing, but when you haven’t swam in years, never in deep ocean water and you’re carrying 5 kilos of camera gear with underwater housing in your hand, it is one hell of an experience. As difficult as it was to try and balance my own weight, get over my fear of deep open water swimming all at the same time as taking quality shots, it was one experience I am so glad I had the opportunity to have.

The next morning I debated going out for a sunrise snorkel with the rest of the crew, but decided to just do it… leave the camera gear behind and just enjoy. I still held onto the rope at the end of the boat for the most part to deal with my fears and lack of swimming experience, but swimming with the sea turtles and dunking my head under to hear the whales singing whilst the sun rose above was just insane… I could not be prouder of myself for giving it a go… something I ordinarily would not have done.

Just last week in Tasmania I found myself in a position again where I had to overcome my fear of heights as I zip lined 50m above the ground on a 400m rope between the treetops of Hollybank… an incredible experience!!! One which I would gladly do again!

WATCH MY EXPERIENCE HERE

The other exciting part about my job is not only getting to do what I love and travel..But its also meeting people… fellow travellers from across the globe and product owners who I’m visiting along the way.

It’s the wine makers at the wineries and getting to talk to them about their creations, tasting their beverages with them and hearing about their story

It’s the owners of boat cruise experiences who take you to see the seals the have come up from Antarctica and teach you how to drive their boats back to land whilst telling you about how much they donate to great causes with many of the profits from their business.

It’s the fish & oyster farmers who catch and cook your lunch in front of you, the guides that take you through the cities, the waiters and waitresses who accommodate your needs and help you pick your dream dish… every single person, operator, tour guide, they are all what help make each experience a fresh and happy one.

Its through these characters in each of the various towns that help me learn and understand so much more about the culture of this country and in turn, have helped me open up becoming more of a people’s person, with no fear of asking questions even if I think they are stupid.

It’s also something that helps when you’re travelling alone… just because you’re by yourself doesn’t mean you need to keep to yourself when you’re out having a burger and a beer for lunch. Start a conversation, smile and you’ll forget the thought of being alone “bored”…. Watching seagulls trying to eat people’s food off the table next to you can a) be hilarious and b) help you share laugh with the elderly couple next to you.

The next 2 moths are filled with solid travel and work and it excites me more than anything! I LOVE being busy, I LOVE working 16-18 hour days, I love the feeling of being productive.

There’s a lot in store for the next few months and I cannot wait to shoot it and share with you all in the near future.

For now I’ll leave you with some of my favourite images along the journey so far. I aim to update my newly re-named facebook page “filmenor” as often as I can. Hope you enjoy the pics! Until next time.

Filmenor

x

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A Not So Traditional Greek Easter Sunday

My lovely weekend in food..

No words. just. yum. amazing. Sunday.

The food coma is yet to have settled.

x

Finally! It’s here! Was quite lovely waking up to these from my fave choccie shop this morn! Happy Orthodox Easter to all those celebrating! #easter #kokoblack #chocolate #egg #xristosanesti #bunny #bestjobs #australia #greek #photography #photographer #food #lifestylephotographer

Hi everyone!

Yesterday I woke up to some wonderful news that I had been shortlisted in the top 25 of 600,000 entries for the Tourism Australia Best Jobs In the World LIFESTYLE PHOTOGRAPHER POSITION!!!

This means the world to me!! And I cannot wait to show off my hometown, gallivanting around taking snaps of what I eat, see, do etc..

Those of you who have been following me on here or have come across my blog know that I literally take my camera with me EVERYWHERE.. capturing everyday’s moments is my passion and no matter where I go, I will always have at least 1.. or 7 cameras with me :P

Anyway I’m so stoked to be a part of this… I have less than 2 weeks to complete the next round where I’m judged on the quality of work, my quirkiness and ability to engage media and celebrity personalities, friends, family etc.. via social media and any other means to support me.

Would mean the world if you could check out the page I have dedicated to the next challenge in the link below! Feel free to post on it if you like, any support would be just so wonderful.

http://www.facebook.com/filmenor?hc_location=stream

Got a project I’m working on for this next phase also so if you’d like to keep updated follow my page and thank you so much again for following me on here!

Cheers,

A very delighted, El

x

// THE DRIVE

Hey guys,

Last year whilst I was filming a documentary shooting all around Australia, I came across a great find in what now is my favourite little country town… and that is… THE BEECHWORTH BAKERY!

Recently my lovely mother took a drive up to Beachworth to get some of their fab pies and after tasting these babies again for the first time in over a year (they really are the best pies I’ve ever eaten in my life) mum and I just had to go and investigate to see if they had any closer stores.

To our surprise, there was one located not too far away in our backyard wine country!

So today we took the drive to go out and have one of their fabulous donuts… yes… driving 2 hours there and back for a donut really was worth it.

These are the freshest donuts I have ever eaten in my life! Soft, homemade, thick icing and not one bit rubbery or greasy at all!

The homemade part totally made me feel less like a fatty when we opted to buy 3 of them for lunch to eat then and there… and bring some home for dessert after dinner :)

Here are some snaps of our little adventure today..

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Yummmmm!!!!

Sooo looking forward to devouring these babies again tonight… now matter how stuffed from the ones I ate today I already am.. :)

Happy Tuesday everyone!

El x

// BEAUTIFUL BRITISH COLUMBIA – VANCOUVER..

Howdy all,
It’s been a little while since I posted on here (really must work on that..!) but I’m back with another little travel post from my recent trip to VANCOUVER, CANADA!

It’s been a busy few months and amidst all the madness, I managed to book myself a one week trip to visit the gorgeous city of Vancouver for the Canada International Film Festival which was held over a weekend.
Now, Canada is pretty much my favourite country in the world. The people absolutely rock, the scenery is amazing, the food is good and the lifestyle is so comfortable… oh and not to mention the somewhat sexy accents… :P

So when I got the email that my film had been accepted into the festival, it was the PERFECT excuse to travel again to the country I’ve always felt connected to though I’ve not seen much of it.. yet…
I spent my week in Vancouver not only meeting some really amazing film makers at the film fest, but gallivanting around, making friends and exploring the city to get a feel of it all for future reference.
Here are some snaps from my week away in my home away from home..

// GETTING THERE

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// LAND OF THE MAPLE LEAF

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It was a little rainy but I loved walking around and seeing the scenery!

// CANADA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL

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Here’s a link to the trailer of my film: https://vimeo.com/46663797

The Film Festival was awesome. Got to meet some lovely people from all parts of the world and made some great friendships. I really loved how the festival was very film maker focused, it meant that I got to actually talk to my peers and find out about their industries etc…
I’m so honored to have received the Royal Reel award for my film ‘Life through A Lens’. It was truly incredible being in such a beautiful city, so far from home and have had my work so well received and being there to accept the award was a wonderful experience. Thank you Canada International Film Festival.

// EXPLORING
  | GASTOWN

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I loved this area! So trendy, so Melbournian like, so cool. Had some great food and drinks down here with friends. <3

| YALETOWN

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I LOVE being in a city thats so hockey pro!! Even though the Canucks aren’t my team (NY Rangers fan through and through) it was great being in a place where I could discuss the NHL with friends who didn’t give me funny looks and actually knew what I was on about! it was great being able to walk into a bar and watch a game instead of being home and streaming it on my computer at 9am everyday back home… It was hilarious seeing people walking their dogs who had hockey jerseys on…!! I mean, this country loves hockey so much they even have it on their currency! Downright awesome if you ask me…

| EVENING STROLL

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// OLYMPIC VILLAGE

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// GRANVILLE ISLAND

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Walking around Granville Island was amazing! I felt like I was in one of the Twilight movies with the weather being overcast and the scenery..

Lucky for me I met an awesome fellow Aussie at the Film Festival who roamed around the island with me for 6 hours taking photos! Props to her I have some photos of myself in action which she snapped during our travels.

Additional Photo Credit: Angelique Papadelias

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We were so super tired by the end of it all that we went for some tea at the cutest tea shop in the markets. My choice, Liquorice Spice! It was incredible!!

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Smelt So good!!

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Thanks Angelique for the company, the conversations and the awesome photos!

// WHAT I ATE

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JAPDOG!!! WITH SPICY CHIPS!!! MOST AMAZING HOT DOG I HAVE EVER EATEN!!!

They also have ice cream in a donut bun! I just had to give it a go.. Green Tea was a winner..and trust me, its not a disgusting as it looks.

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Watching the hockey at the Loose Moose..imageimage

And then I just HAD to try and find some Poutine… we don’t have it in Oz so I had to make the most of it whilst I was in Canada. Fritz was recommended to me and my god was it the best!

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// STANLEY PARK

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// CHERRY BLOSSOMS
And finally, my photoblog of the trip wouldnt be complete without all the beautiful cherry blossoms I encountered along the way!

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Found a lucky coin in amongst the beautiful pink petal covered ground!

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Seeing the city covered in pink like that was like walking in a wonderland for an entire week… it was wonderful!

I truly had the most amazing time in Vancouver. Canadians and Australians are very similar, only they have better accents…. and they’re much nicer… :P

I met some super awesome people over there, I did not spend one entire day by myself which was rad… it was really  lovely having company and making new friends. Thank you to those of you who took the time out to catch up with me, those of you who i met and showed me around or shared a drink with me, and those at the festival who reminded me of why i love doing what i do.

I was really lucky to have had company the entire week I was there and be able to learn about the city as though I myself was living as a local.

I felt very comfortable walking around.. heck, I know all the streets better than I do my own at home! I’m serious…. so if I ever did live in this gorgeous city one day its comforting to know I won’t be alone, I have a lot of friends in and around the city and having had such a wonderful experience there, I already feel like its my home away from home…

Until next time..

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Much love, El

x

p.s. the new love of my life…

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// ST KILDA FEST … FEATURE FILM NEWS \

Howdy all!

So I’ve been a  bit quiet on here for the last few weeks. Have had a lot going on.

From several trips back and forth to Sydney, to seeing Django Unchained a gazillion times, to working and exploring, its been a great start to the year.

I’m also really excited to announce that I’ve just joined the crew as Cinematographer for a feature film shooting this year too!

The film is called ‘Occupied’ and its a totally unique Aussie Sci Fi film which is going to be wonderful amounts of fun to plan and shoot!

So stoked to be a part of it, and you can check us out here:

http://www.occupiedthemovie2013.com

http://www.facebook.com/OccupiedTheMovie

https://twitter.com/occupiedmovie

http://occupiedmovie.tumblr.com

On Sunday we had a tent set up for people to support and learn about our film. I took a stroll down, handed out some flyers to the some 400,000 people walking about and as always, had my camera in hand to capture just some of the atmosphere of my day walking around the festival.

From Breakfast to a great new cafe I found that has their own veggie patch outside and gave me actual peppermint leaves in my tea (which smelt incredible from a mile away and totally owns any other peppermint tea I’ve ever had)… to my lunch at the festival and the sights at the end of the day, take a look at some of the photos below:

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// a weekend away..

This last weekend I went on a little road trip getaway to the country with my family to celebrate my parents anniversary.

We stayed in a little town called Flinders and it was absolutely lovely. Lovely little cute cafe’s around, beautiful fresh food, amazing accommodation and due to the weather being so overcast which was a bit of downer since the beaches were so gorgeous, we spent lots of family time together instead eating, drinking and playing monopoly.

We’d have breakfast and then have 2nd breakfast at another cafe just to try the delicacies because they were so fresh and mouthwatering.

It was a lovely weekend away from the internet, tv, movies etc… so here are some snaps from the trip.

Congratulations to my parents on their anniversary and thanks are in order for taking us rugrats (my little sis and I) along to celebrate with them.

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Food highlight: The Turkish Delight Soufflé at the Terminus Restaurant. Filled with real chunks of turkish delight all through it, it was one hell of a dessert, no matter how full I was before, it was worth every part of the weight that was distributed to my thighs as I was eating it!

Yummmoooo!

xx

HOLA

Howdy all!

Hope everyone had a lovely new year. I’ve kick started my year by travelling a bit again which is insanely exciting and not something I expected. 

Having travelled so much last year to some beautiful places around the world, I’ve fallen in love with certain cultures and cuisines… one of them being my newfound love for MEXICAN FOOD!!!

Okay so basically, yes, I have ALWAYS loved mexican.. but we Aussies just don’t make it the same way as those folks in California do. I’ve never had the chance to go to Mexico myself but Im fairly certain that the Californian’s have it pretty bang on right… or at least extremely close. Here its just a novelty most of the time, lets have some nachos and pile it on with cheese, or tacos and its all mince and easy make.

So I’ve gone on the hunt for some good mexican places recently and sadly haven’t found many. The market is growing here and there are a few popping up which is positive.

Anyway this past weekend I was hanging out in Sydney and whilst in Bondi Junction, I walked past this Mexican place that looked pretty freaking amazing from the outside. After a quick squizz at its menu, I decided that I HAD to go back the next day… and boy am i glad i did!

El Topo was brilliant. From its cute little random Mexican figurines to mini shrines, beer bottle arrangements, art works and in general the architecture, I knew I was in for a treat. This place was different. It was well thought out and it’s menu sounded mouthwatering, fresh and exciting! It wasn’t typical, it was gourmet and so I thought I’d take my camera along, snap some shots and order everything I could!

Here are some snaps:

The tortilla chips were fantastic for starters. Crispy, home made and tasty. Tacos were mind blowing… I had to go in for 2nds!! So many more things I ordered off that menu but didn’t snap because I was just too excited to dig into it.

El Topo is a rad restaurant. I highly recommend it and next time I’m in Sydney, I will definitely drive to it or get a cab no matter how much the fare!! It was up there with the American’s so check out their site and like their Facebook if you’re keen.. its worth a look!

http://eltopo.com.au

http://www.facebook.com/ElTopoMexican?fref=ts

Adiós from me for now!

xx

one. one. twenty. thirteen.

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!!!

Hope everyone has started off their year cheerfully :) I’m not huge on going out clubbing etc.. on NYE here, so I spent last night with my family having a picnic outdoors and playing star trek uno whilst drinking some strong Greek Spirits which was wonderful.

And how did I spend the first day of the new year? Eating my weight in home made pizza and making home made cherry jam!! It was wonderful.

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I have many things I’m looking forward to this year… new beggings, some more travel (I hope), attending the premiere for Django Unchained with my idol, the one I fangirl most over, Mr Quentin Tarantino in attendance in just over 3 weeks… to the joys of filming more, putting together on my photo books and working my absolute hardest to be able to one day make my dreams a reality.

2012 saw many of my dreams come true and accomplishing things I never could have imaged. I grew closer to my friends and family who stuck with me and absolutely blew me away with their generosity, patience, love and support so here’s them, to you all and to an even brighter new year with many more adventures and tests to come.

Happy 2013 everyone and I wish you all the best!!

xo